Artist Peter Rego’s variation of a ship in a bottle sees the Delta, B.C., artist placing religious imagery inside bottles instead. Photo courtesy The B.C. Catholic

Religious message in a bottle

  • May 11, 2023

DELTA, B.C. -- Peter Rego was 15 years old and growing up in Pakistan when the artistic bug first bit him.

In a variation on the traditional ship-in-a-bottle, he would find discarded bottles and started putting photographs of people inside them as gifts. Gradually he started combining religious imagery, painstakingly inserting holy cards into bottles to produce works that highlight the different religious seasons.   

Sixty-five years later, the Immaculate Conception parishioner in Delta is still intricately combining empty bottles and religious images, turning out unique artworks that he sells and gives to people around the parish. 

He makes about two or three bottles a week, changing the subject matter as the liturgical year progresses. At Christmas, bottles featured images of the Holy Family and the Nativity. At Easter, his works depicted the Last Supper and Christ on the Cross. Asked if he has ever gone the more traditional route and put a ship in a bottle, he says no.

“Those are available in the market. I want to put something in a bottle that isn’t available anywhere else.” 

See his Facebook page Peter Rego Smart Art.

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